Drivers using country roads ‘as motorways’
A woman who suffered life-threatening injuries after falling from her horse has called for a cultural change in drivers.
Carolyn Randall was riding in Braunston Road, between Oakham and Braunston, when she was overtaken by two cars driving at high speed on September 13.
Four cars were coming in the opposite direction and the horse bolted, causing Carolyn to fall from her saddle.
Despite wearing safety gear she suffered a cracked skull, four broken ribs and a broken elbow. She spent five days in a trauma unit and is still recovering from her injuries.
Carolyn, of Springfield Way, Oakham, knows she is lucky to be alive. But she is having second thoughts about riding on the roads again.
“Over the last 10 years cars don’t give a stuff,” she said. “I don’t think it’s the driver personally, I think it’s the vehicle.
“Cars are so much faster and safer, and I don’t think people realise what the hell they are doing.
“I follow vehicles down that road that are doing 70 miles per hour. They don’t slow down. There are a lot of drivers that haven’t got a clue.”
Carolyn added: “I said to my husband before that I was going to get killed on that road.
“People are driving on country roads as if they are motorways.”
Carolyn, who still has a long way to go in her recovery, remembers everything up to the point of the accident. She said: “I was going up the brow of a hill. I could hear cars so I pulled out slightly so that I wasn’t hidden by the bend. Four cars were coming towards me.
“The next thing I knew my mare just took off, flat out. I realised there was a car in front of me and one right behind me. The speed that they had come round frightened the hell out of her. She was in a flat out gallop and four cars were coming towards me. I laid out on the road.”
Neither of the cars who overtook Carolyn stopped to help. But several drivers did.
“Luckily an off-duty nurse was in one of the cars that stopped,” she said. “I think she must have helped save my life. She called the air ambulance because I was out cold.
“I remember coming round and seeing eyes looking into mine. Then I came round again and saw the paramedic from the helicopter. Apparently they nearly lost me at the scene. They had to wait until they could stabilise me. About an hour later they put me in the air ambulance.”
And there was one man in particular who Carolyn is eager to trace. She said: “There was one chap. I kept hearing his voice. It was so distinctive. He left a message on my husband’s answer phone using my phone.
“He parked his car across the road to stop people. When I came home that was the voice I recognised. His name was Johnny. All I want to do is say thank you.”
Carolyn, a supermarket worker, is full of praise for the paramedics and doctors who treated her.
“The first 48 hours a lot of people did a lot to me to keep me alive,” she said.
“I’m very lucky to still be alive now. Everyone seems to think that I’m some sort of miracle.
“A brain injury leaves you low. The first four weeks I just laid on my sofa. My brain should have been a vegetable and it’s not.”
Carolyn is keen to find the man named Johnny who stayed by her side until the air ambulance arrived. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01780 758951.